India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the August 11, 2016 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
YouTube Facebook Twitter
Cabinet approves Spectrum Usage Charge for the spectrum; auction imminent 

The government has approved the rates for Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for various bands of the spectrum. With this decision, the Department of Telecommunications has issued the Notice Inviting Application for the spectrum auction, which will occur soon. 
Cabinet authorizes National Highways Authority of India to monetize publicly funded national highway projects 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has authorized National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to monetize publicly funded National Highway (NH) projects which have been generating toll revenues for at least two years after the Commercial Operations Date (COD) through the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model. The monetization will be subject to approval of the Competent Authority in Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) or the NHAI on a case to case basis.  Around 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetization using the TOT Model. 

$662 million infrastructure investment approved for projects in eight States and UTs 

The Ministry of Urban Development approved an investment of $662 million for sewage networks, drainage, urban transport, and public spaces in urban areas in eight States and UTs under the current financial year's Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).  An inter-ministerial Apex Committee chaired by Secretary of Urban Development Shri Rajiv Gauba has approved the plan.  

PM holds public appearance in Telangana to promote upcoming projects

Prime Minister Modi launched Mission Bhagiratha, a clean drinking water project, at Komatibanda Village, Gajwel, in Medak District of Telangana. The Prime Minister also used this appearance to unveil foundation stone plaques for important development projects, including a 1600 MW thermal power station at Ramagundam, fertilizer plant maintenance at Ramagundam, the Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences, the new Manoharabad-Kothapalli Railway line, and a 1200 MW thermal power station of Singareni in Jaipur. 
327 Villages Electrified Last Week 

327 villages have been electrified across the country last week under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY). This brings the total number of electrified villages under the project to 9,653. Seven of these new villages are in Arunachal Pradesh, 12 are in Assam, 10 are in Bihar, four are in Chattisgarh, 68 are in Jharkhand, four are in Madhya Pradesh, 11 are in Manipur, 136 are in Meghalaya, eight are in Nagaland, 24 are in Odisha, six are in Rajasthan, two are in Tripura, 31 are in Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Karnataka and Mizoram each have one. The progress of ongoing electrification process can be tracked on

India adopts inflation target of 4% for next five years under monetary policy framework
The government has adopted a four percent inflation target for next five years, with an upper tolerance level of 6% and lower limit of 2%. During this period, the Monetary Policy Committee that will set rates in keeping with this target rather than the Reserve Bank of India. Inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) in June was at 5.77 percent, close to the upper end of the band, which all but rules out a reduction in rates in the near term.

Forex reserves at record $365.5 billion 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reported the country's foreign currency reserves increased $2.8 billion to a record high of $365.5 billion during the week of July 29. The increase was almost completely due to the central bank's intervention in the market to accumulate dollars. In July, foreign portfolio investors bought a record $1.052 million of bonds and another $1.653 million in equities in the local market. RBI bought the resultant dollars, even as rupee strengthened to close at 66.78 a dollar on Friday from its recent levels of above 67 against the dollar. 

S&P Global Ratings says that Indian companies are set to outperform Chinese peers
S&P Global Ratings expects top Indian companies to outperform their Chinese peers as a result of government spending through 'Make in India' program and improvement in the transportation sector, while Chinese companies may get bogged down with government influence and increasing credit risk. However, S&P has warned against high interest rate environment and high levels of government debt in India, which could restrict the growth momentum of the country. 

MoC launches 'Twitter Sewa' to address public complaints
Minister of Communications Mr. Manoj Sinha launched a 'Twitter Sewa' for addressing public complaints in the telecom and postal sectors through the @manojsinhabjp Twitter handle. Sinha said that this is in tune with Prime Minister Modi's vision of "minimum government, maximum governance," as his government connects with Indian citizens through live communications platform to provide a transparent, clean and responsive and accountable administration.

Adidas gets approval for FDI in retail
Adidas India has received the government's approval to bring in foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail through its existing wholesale entity and will not have to set up a separate retail company.  The company plans to open 30 to 50 company-owned Adidas stores in large cities by 2020.  Adidas Group's managing director for Indian operations Dave Thomas said, "The company-owned stores will come up from the middle of next year, with the first few in Delhi where we will have three to four outlets across formats - the premium HomeCourt and Adidas Originals Neighborhood formats and one factory outlet."